It sounds great doesn’t it? Do the job you love but more for yourself and keep more of the income that you bill than you did as a fee earner. And it will be great. You just need to know how to get clients as a consultant solicitor. Don’t worry – it is possible.
The thing is, until now, more likely than not, you did not get involved too much in the marketing of your legal services. You did a great job fee earning, billed plenty and thought that it would be nice to keep a larger cut of your annual billing.
You looked around for the best fee sharing solicitor consultant models available, found one that fitted you well and ticked all of the boxes, signed up and now here you are; raring to go but just in need of some clients.
How are you going to now get clients as a consultant solicitor? This bit always puzzles me, I have to say, in that if I ran a law firm with consultant solicitors, I would control all of the marketing, deliver new clients to the consultant solicitors pr freelance solicitors and keep a slightly larger share of the pie. If you are the owner of a ‘consultant solicitor model’ law firm and like that idea, please get in touch. I can show you exactly how to do this.
Anyway, back to you, Mr or Mrs Consultant solicitor. Now that you are in place, ready and raring to go, let’s have a look at what you need to do to generate new clients.
I will talk you through the available options in the order that is most likely to produce clients quickly for you because I understand it can seem a daunting task to be sitting there wondering where the next client is going to come from.
At the foot of this article, there is a free guide for you which will put more meat on the bones of how you do this. Download it to discover more.
1. Your old contacts
This is one of the quickest wins. It is not glamorous, it involves a bit of legwork (not a lot) but it is the one of the fastest ways for you to generate more clients as a consultant solicitor.
There will be people in your contact list who already have your next client that will gladly refer them to you, if only you let them know what you are up to. It may be that they have conflict matters on which they can’t act but would be happy to refer to you as a safe pair of hands, or they might be colleagues from old law firms you worked in who do not offer the services that you do.
Now, at this point, before you head off to the telephone, there is a way to approach them and a way not to.
I have a two word marketing mantra which is “Clients First”. It applies to potential referrers too. If you jump on the telephone and say “Hi Nick, I know we haven’t spoken for 15 years, but I am now a consultant solicitor and I need some clients. Can you refer any to me?” you will receive no referrals and rightly so.
You need to rebuild the links and let the referrals happen more naturally.
Take genuine interest in the person you are calling and the conversation will naturally lead to you at some point. Offer to buy them coffee if they are local, or just have the chat and make a note to follow up in a couple of weeks. After that time, send them an email or a link to an article of interest. Softly, softly and the referrals will come.
You might be looking at this and thinking “that’s a bit much like hard work, Nick” but let me be straight with you if this is what you are thinking. If you want that bigger share of the pie you have to do a bit more of the legwork. You are now entering the realm of being partially in charge of your business so you have more responsibilities and need to take some more action.
2. Your online profile
Now that you have taken the action that is most likely to yield results, you can start on the other matters. First, what is your online profile like? If I go looking for you, will I find you and if I do, where will that be?
The two likely places are:
- The firm you work for as a consultant solicitor; and
- Your LinkedIn profile.
Do both of these profiles do all of these things:
- Explain the people (not clients even if you are in business law– describe who they are and what they do) that you help and how you help them (not selling – how you serve clients to obtain the results that they desire);
- Prove your expertise in this area of law by referencing published articles/volume of clients helped/exceptional results achieved; and
- Tell people how to get in touch with you (not just a telephone, but email and contact form too)?
They need to. Even if someone from option one decides to send you a referral as a consultant solicitor, they will want to check you out first as we all do when looking at a potential supplier. Your profile needs to reassure me that you are worthy of my referral/recommendation.
3. Email marketing for consultant solicitors
Now that you are on your own, although being a part of a bigger law firm, you need to keep in touch with all of your old clients and all referrers.
You should start an email marketing database immediately and start adding people to it. When you do this, you will be amazed how quickly this produces results for you. You will soon have a list with hundreds of people on it and when you email them every month you will generate responses, discussions and recommendations, just like Jackie does:
“Nick had been advising me to start an email newsletter for ages but I was put off because I wanted to prepare a list of all of my old clients first. I finally took action when he reminded me and said “just start the list today”, so I did.
Nick was right. Within four months I have an email list of 1,000 people and it is growing all of the time, as are my referrals!
Jacqueline Emmerson, Solicitor.
Don’t worry about what you say or how you say it at this point, that is contained in my guide at the foot of this article. But let me just confirm that every one of my consultancy clients who emails their database once a month sees their recommendations and referrals increase month on month. Email marketing is one of the best methods of marketing for solicitors and that includes consultant solicitors. In fact, it is even more important for consultant solicitors because you are more hidden in your law firm than an employee is.
4. Your own website
Let me share with you something which might surprise you. Most consultant solicitor firms have websites which are not going to feed you any new clients or very few. Why? Remember what I said at the beginning of this article; most consultant solicitor firms leave you to get on with the marketing. This definitely applies when it comes to their websites; I know because I have looked at dozens of them.
They generally have very bland ‘brand websites’ which will never make the telephone ring. You need a ‘lead generation’ website which is a very different thing. A lead generation website attracts potential clients to it, proves your expertise to them and ensures that they pick up the telephone and ask for your help.
If you are reading this article because you want to know how to get more clients, you know that what I am saying makes sense, otherwise you would have all of the clients that you want and need.
There are there good reasons why you should have your own lead generation website as a consultant solicitor:
- It will produce clients for you;
- It is your asset to take with you wherever you decide to hang your consultant solicitor hat, or if you later decide to go solo; and
- It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
You can obtain your own website, under the banner, eg John Smith Solicitor, trading as “Consultancy Solicitors UK Limited” for a few hundred pounds. A few hundred pounds is nothing when it is going to be producing clients worth thousands of pounds for you, is it?.
If you really want to be successful as a consultant solicitor you are going to have to spend a few pounds to make thousands of pounds. It is impossible to do it without any investment. You are prepared to invest in yourself, aren’t you? You have taken this brave step to become a consultant solicitor, you can’t do it without a little investment, but it doesn’t have to be thousands of pounds, so you are going to need to invest a little.
In the free guide below I will explain in more detail how you obtain your website and how it should look and feel.
5. Where marketing yourself as a consultant solicitor won’t get you new clients
I couldn’t finish this article about how to get more clients as a consultant solicitor without covering a couple of areas where you could literally waste hours and hours, spend hundreds or thousands of pounds but not produce much in the way of results:
- Social media.
I cannot believe how many solicitors believe that social media is the answer to their problems. I promise you, based on having run my business since 2003 I can count on one hand the number of solicitors who have actually got any meaningful results at all from social media, yet thousands have followed my proven (real) marketing methods and generated substantial volumes of new clients.
Think about your own experience of social media. Do you use it to find experts, or do you use it to catch up on family, friends and celebrity/fashion if that is your thing?
Did you find your accountant on social media? Did you choose your last estate agent on Twitter? Did you find your financial adviser on Facebook? Highly, highly unlikely.
Social media is interruption marketing of the worst kind. Interruption marketing is costly, takes a lot of time and produces minimal results.
Attraction marketing, where people find you at the time that they are looking for you, such as your website or your email list, works so much better.
Networking is also often the first place solicitors go, and it can produce some results over time, but again it won’t allow you to bill hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. The methods that I teach will. Guaranteed.
This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting clients as a consultant solicitor, but there is a lot more to it. Download my free guide below to discover more, including:
- How to quickly and easily set up an email marketing database;
- How to create a website that delivers clients to you; and
- How to automate your marketing so that it works with or without you.
Ready To Take Action And See Results Now?
Please call 0117 290 8555 to arrange a mutually convenient time for a telephone discussion, Email me or complete a Free Online Enquiry. There is no cost or obligation. We will have a chat about where you are and where you would like to be and I will suggest some things you can do to get there quickly.